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Translucency: Three Katazome Dyed Hemp Panels

September 17, 2012

I love showing patched hemp textiles against the light, and if you follow this blog, you’ve seen this set-up before.  Today I’m showing three patched fragments from summer futon covers, each hemp, each katazome or  stencil resist dyed.The two panels shown above are large-scale repeats from the 1920s or so.

The fragment shown above is a wonderful piece of old Omi jofu, or silk-like hemp or ramie weaving from present-day Shiga PrefectureHave a closer look at a similar piece here.

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A Magnificently Beautiful 18th Century Ramie Boro: Formal Kimono

May 1, 2012

This fragile, delicate and beautiful boro cloth is hand stitched from elegant, hand decorated 18th century kimono pieces.  The kimono, which once belonged to a woman of means, is made from indigo dyed, hand-plied ramie cloth.The ramie is extremely finely woven from hair-thin yarns.  It is almost silky in the hand.  As a kimono it was probably unlined.The decorations are resisted; the hand applied color which would have been very clear when first made is now faded away, leaving barely a trace.The cloth is soft and delicate–it flutters even in the most subtle breeze.

And on these photos you can see that the cloth is translucent.Most likely this cloth was fashioned as a futon cover; its small size suggests it was made for a child, but this would have been a pampered child who would have needed very good manners.

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